New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern says Australia’s new Labor Federal Government will provide the opportunity for a “reset” between the two nations.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, Ms Ardern said the leadership change represented a chance to extend trans-Tasman relations following “friction” with the previous Scott Morrison-led government.
“I do see this as an opportunity for a reset, because there were obviously some points of friction,” Ms Ardern said.
“Just demonstrating that understanding of where that tension has come from and the fact there are areas where we can find some resolution – obviously there is some work to do, but in my mind, this does represent a reset.”
Following talks between the pair today, Mr Albanese said he was determined to work more closely with New Zealand on regional issues, describing Australia as having “come out of the naughty corner” after nine years under the previous government.
“The Prime Minister and I are determined to take trans-Tasman relations to a new level – a new level of cooperation in the mutual interests of both of our nations,” Mr Albanese said.
“Together we face global challenges of a changing climate, economic headwinds, more insecure regional circumstances.”
On the topic of Australia’s deportation policy for Kiwi criminals, the new leader said Ms Ardern had expressed “forceful” views on the issue.
“What we have simply asked is that there’s greater reciprocity,” Ms Ardern said.
“New Zealand, of course, deports individuals who have been in New Zealand for a short time and who have acted outside our expectations.
“There are some who are being deported from Australia who, for all intents and purposes, are Australian, often [with] zero connection to New Zealand,” she said.
Mr Albanese said the matter would be appropriately considered by the Australian Government moving forward.
“What’s clear is that if people look at some of the cases that have been held, it’s not surprising that the Prime Minister would make the strong representations that she had,” he said.
“I would be if I was in the same position.”
He said the policy would be discussed during a ministerial and leaders’ meeting next month.